Taming the body’s immune response could offer treatment option for coronavirus

ap wide e ec eaf f cae c
Credit: Felipe Dana/AP

Among the many outstanding questions about COVID-19 is how the same virus, SARS-CoV-2, can kill some patients and leave others unaware they were ever exposed. Clinical evidence combined with hints from laboratory research indicate that for at least some patients with severe cases, the primary danger comes from a runaway immune response that irreparably injures tissue, researchers say. Understanding the mechanisms behind that response could be key to finding a treatment for those patients.

It appears that after infection, the virus replicates itself inside a patient, leading to a disease phase where the immune system mounts an inflammatory response against the invader, says Charles Dela Cruz, a pulmonologist at Yale School of Medicine who is researching COVID-19. Then, in those patients who progress to severe disease, “potentially this inflammatory response is too much and hyper-inflames, causing a lot of side effects in terms of tissue damage and organ failure and things like that,” he says. 

Related article:  First wave over? Several European nations set to relax coronavirus lockdowns

[Randy Cron, a rheumatologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham] suspects that the answer to why some patients with COVID-19 develop cytokine storms while others don’t may be partly genetic. … He doesn’t know of any current effort to look for such mutations in COVID-19 patients, but expects they will happen eventually.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend